Archive for April 2005

White smoke

There is a new pope.
–Update– 12:43
It’s Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
–Update– 12:44
He’s taken the name Benedict XVI.

Speaking of picking a church’s highest official…

Not that anybody cares but… my denomination [The Christian Church(Disciples of Christ)] yesterday determined a nominee for the office of general minister and president.

Addressing the General Board on Sunday morning, [nominee Sharon Watkins], a lifelong Disciple, began by talking about her formative years and her love for the church.
“We are a church whose time has come,” Watkins said, “because in this day and age, authenticity speaks louder than authority in matters of faith.”
“People would rather hear an authentic witness from a modern day doubting Thomas than have some ecclesial authority lay down the law,” she said.
In her speech, she lifted up the denomination

A shift in tactics in the Spam War

CNN has an interesting article on how ISPs are shifting from just filtering inbound e-mail for spam to trying to stop it at its source.

Conclave begins

I’m betting the tone of the Conclave will be a little different than the lock-ins the church youth groups hold.
As I’ve said, I’m not Catholic but I do have a certain respect for the Papacy. As a protestant I suppose you could liken my feelings towards the Papacy to those of an American towards the English crown. You want to make sure that (in the words of Homer Simpson) “the King of England [can’t] just walk in here any time he wants and start shoving you around” but you can recognize their power, influence and majesty.
May God guide the Cardinals in their selection of a new Pope.

“Will you look at those morons! I paid my taxes over a year ago!”

Today’s tax day. (Personally I got my refunds back 2 months ago.)
Today seems a good day to remind people that if we had the FairTax in place there’d be no tax forms, no receipts to save, no money spent on tax preparation, no late night drives to the post office, no being forced by the IRS to steal the Trillion dollar bill back from Mr. Burns… whoops, slipped into the Simpsons there.
If we had the FairTax today would be just another day.

Carnival of the Vanities

The new Carnival of the Vanities is up, or rather the anti-Carnival of the Vanities. The first one was a rather mean-spirited one (including towards my Opening Day post and Baseball in general) so Laurence Simon felt a real Carnival was called for.

Whoops, CIncinnati lab sends out killer flu

The World Health Organisation is urging thousands of laboratories around the world to destroy samples inadvertently sent to them of the Asian flu virus that killed up to four million people in 1957-58.
Scientists feared an accident could trigger a new global outbreak.
The virus, known as H2N2, killed about four million people worldwide during the Asian influenza pandemic of 1957-58 before disappearing in 1968.
“Therefore, persons born after 1968 are expected to have no or only limited immunity to H2N2,” which is not contained in current trivalent influenza vaccines, the WHO warned Tuesday in a statement.
The US government on April 8 asked the College of American Pathologists (CAP) to instruct 3,747 laboratories in 18 countries that received samples containing the H2N2 virus to destroy them, the WHO said.

The H2N2 samples were shipped to the laboratories — most of which are in the United States with only 75 located in Canada and 16 other countries — by Meridian Bioscience Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio as part of “routine quality-control certification conducted” by the College of American Pathologists.
Stohr called the private company’s decision “unwise and unfortunate,” while Robert Webster, a flu expert at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, called the incident “a terrible, terrible mistake.”
Yahoo! News

Gen Y and religion

Reboot, a Jewish youth organization just released the findings of a poll of Generation Y (Gen Y includes those born between 1980 and 2000 but the poll only polled those age 18-25) which focused on their feelings about faith and religion.

“The religious establishment is failing to connect with Generation Y, the most diverse and individualist group in American history,” Bennett said. “iTunes, Tivo, and MoveOn have shown this generation that it is possible to bypass the ‘middleman’ and take control of their own experiences, whether it’s a song list or politics. Religious institutions have to recognize this reality if they want to be more meaningful to them,” he said.
According to the survey, many 18-to-25 year olds express their faith in informal ways that are either communal or individualistic, such as praying before meals (55%), talking with friends (38%), or reading religious magazines, books, and newspapers (33%).
While they enjoy “a genuine attachment to religious life,” younger people are “more disconnected from traditional denominations than their older counterparts … [and] favor more informal ways to practice their faith as opposed to attending services, classes, or formal activity,” the report says.
The survey, however, reveals that young people who identify as highly religious (27%) tend to be more self-aware and significantly more connected to family and community.
“One of the most remarkable findings of the study is that on every measure, highly religious youth better understand themselves and their place in the community more than less religious youth,” said the report’s author, Anna Greenberg, vice president of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.
“The results send a clear message: Demand for meaning and community is there, but few in Gen Y are finding it in churches, mosques, or synagogues,” Bennett said. “The question now is whether established institutions will adapt or innovate to meet this generation’s particular spiritual needs.”
–Reboot press release via Yahoo!

The poll itself can be downloaded here.

Cancer and cell phones

A new study finds no correlation between the two.

Add one more to the steroid pile

This time it’s Rockies outfielder Jorge Piedro.